Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Convoy enters Gaza
31d 07h 02m 26s from London to Gaza
The Viva Palestina aid convoy entered Gaza Wednesday, after it received the approval of Egyptian authorities to bring into the besieged, impoverished coastal sliver several tons of humanitarian supplies.
The activists entered Gaza through Rafah border crossing. More than 500 international activists accompany the convoy organized by the British-based group Viva Palestina, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Fifty-nine vehicles were not be allowed into the strip but the supplies were unloaded and taken through by the activists.
The Egyptian approval came after activists and security forces clashed earlier in the day when Cairo refused to allow part the aid convoy to pass through its land to the Hamas-ruled territory.
More than 55 activists and over a dozen members of the security forces were injured in the clashes. Some sixty convoy-members were also arrested.
Gaza has been under a tight Israeli blockade since June 2007 when the democratically elected Hamas took control of the area. Egypt has come under fire from Arab and Muslim groups for cooperating with Israel.
British lawmaker George Galloway, who is accompanying the convoy, said that the activists had been forced to renegotiate with the Egyptian authorities.
"We refused this because it's a breach of the agreement which we reached in Aqaba between the government of Egypt and the Turkish side," he said. "It is completely unconscionable that 25 percent of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza, because nothing that goes to Israel ever arrives in Gaza."
Egyptian authorities had also refused the convoy entry into the country from the Red Sea, forcing it to change course to a Mediterranean port.